Lace up your sneakers and get ready to kick Crohn’s and colitis in the butt.
This year’s Gutsy Walk will take place in parks across Canada on Sunday, June 4. In Collingwood, the five-kilometre walk will kick off at 11 a.m. at the Sunset Point Park pavilion, continue to the McDonald’s on First St. and end back at Sunset Point.
The Gutsy Walk is an annual nationwide event that supports the 300,000 Canadians living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and raises funds for support programs and innovative research.
“This walk is extremely important across Canada. The walk helps us raise funds to hopefully find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, as well as improve the quality of life of those impacted,” said Nicole Sage, development and community engagement co-ordinator with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis have no known cures and are the two main forms of IBD.
About 300,000 Canadians live with the disease, and researchers expect this number to rise to 400,000 by 2030.
According to current statistics, one in 140 Canadians live with IBD, and someone is diagnosed every hour. Prevalence in Canadian children has risen more than 50 per cent in the last 15 years.
“It can be a silent disease,” said Sage.
The Gutsy Walk has raised more than $50 million for the cause across Canada since it first began in 1996.
The fundraising goal national-wide this year is $3 million. In Collingwood, organizers are hoping to contribute $14,000 toward that goal this year. Last year’s walk in Collingwood raised over $12,000.
“It was awesome for such a small community,” said Sage. “Currently, we’re at 41 per cent (of this year’s goal).”
Sage said they are still looking for volunteers for the Collingwood walk, which would include helping with set up, take down, registration and organization.
“They would help out with the event day activities, and make sure this year’s event is a success,” she said.
She noted that including #GutsyWalk or tagging Crohn’s and Colitis Canada on social media posts can help too.
“That’s going to help us spread awareness. There are many ways for people to get involved,” said Sage.
For more information on donating, volunteering, or to register for this year’s walk, click here.